Sciatica sufferers should avoid these exercises

Those suffering from sciatica have probably already heard all about the exercises to try while waiting for an appointment with a Melville chiropractor. However, have you heard of the exercises that sciatica suffers should avoid? In most cases, they’re equally as important to know about, as they can lead to more pain. Here are 4 exercises to avoid if you have sciatica.

Weighted squats

Weighted squats should be avoided if you have sciatica. This is because the added weight increases the compression that you’re putting on your intervertebral discs, thighs, legs, nerves and back. This can lead to tightness and pain, particularly in your back.

However, if you’re insistent on keeping squats as a part of your gym routine, we recommend removing the weights. We also suggest that you do your squats in a neutral position and stop altogether if you begin to notice any tightness or pain.

Supine leg circles

Although this is typically a Pilates pose, it's common in fitness routines that are focusing on leg building. However, if you’re a sciatica sufferer, we urge that you skip this step of your routine. Supine leg circles involve lifting the leg and moving it around in a circular motion, which can cause pain along the sciatic nerve.


Another exercise that sciatica sufferers should skip whilst in the gym is burpees. This high-intensity exercise involves repeatedly moving forwards and backwards and jumping up and down, which can lead to back and hip pain.

Double leg lifts

If you’re a sciatica sufferer, we also recommend skipping the double leg lifts. Whether you’re in good form or not, it's a risky exercise and can lead to injury if not done properly. It involves laying down – either on your side or your back – with your arms underneath your body and lifting both legs. For those with sciatica, it places unnecessary strain on the lower back and leg muscles.

For more advice on the exercises to avoid with sciatica, contact a member of our team at Melville Wellness today.

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